The Path To Christmas Is Tough For Raptors

There has been a great deal of talk about what lies ahead for the Toronto Raptors as relates to the schedule. The road to a visit from Santa is a tough one for the Toronto Raptors. They will need to keep hard at work through this holiday season. This is a key reason why a game like tonight versus the Bobcats is very important for this team to get back on track. After that they will take on the Atlanta Hawks who they have already faced this year. That was a rather one sided loss to the Hawks in Atlanta that the Raptors lost 110-92. So to say a win over the Hawks will be easy is not being honest. Also when you factor in the one of the Raptors that played well in that game will likely not be active for that game. Jermaine O'Neal was one of the few guys that could hold his head high after that game in Atlanta based on his personal performance.

This is followed by a 3 game road trip out west that the Raptors will not be the favourite in any of these games. Lakers, Nuggets and Jazz would all be favoured to get a win over the Raptors. So if the Raptors do not get at least a win tonight over the Bobcats they could be on the verge of a long and painful losing streak. You may have heard a lot of folks are not happy with Coach Sam Mitchell. People already are wanting him to be fired. A long losing streak would only add to that idea of a change at the coaching position. It would be difficult to imagine Sam Mitchell finding a way to get through that. The Thunder and Wizards have already made changes early on in this NBA season. But both of those teams were truly in rough shape. That being said if the Raptors are having a 7-game losing streak heading into a home game versus Portland. Can you just imagine the scene at the Air Canada Centre if Mitchell was still the coach? I can and do not want to imagine it. The scene would be very ugly indeed. It already is pretty ugly at the moment.

When you look even further ahead you see the following:

  • King James and Cavs
  • T.J Ford's Return
  • 2 more with Nets (1@ NJ, 1 in Tor)
  • Chris Paul and Hornets
  • Tim Ducan and a Spurs team that could be fully healthy

About the only softies you will find in the Raps schedule heading towards Christmas is games against the Thunder and Clippers.

The point to all of this is the Raptors need to get their act together in a hurry or the fate of Sam Mitchell is not the only thing on the line it could be the fate of the season itself. A team that is battling through injuries and facing a lot of pressure has to some how find a way to find itself and get this season back on track. Before the season ever got started people said that as in the past the Raptors schedule was front loaded. Meaning that the games before the end of the year would be much tougher. After the start of 2009 just as in past seasons the Raptors see a schedule that sees more home dates and a bit easier level of teams to face. But to truly take advantage of that they must find a way to survive to that point.

Few Points On Tonight Vs Charlotte

Yesterday I touched on how the Bobcats put it together to beat the Sixers. The game plan they used in that game could be useful for them tonight. But the Raptors to offer more in the way of 3-point shooting than the Sixers provide. Guys like Anthony Parker and Jason Kapono could be helpful for the Raptors tonight. They will need someone to step up and help Chris Bosh. It should be no surprise to anyone if you see the Bobcats just decide to double up on Bosh at every turn. That will make it key for others to make shots.

On the flip side you have to have some major concern on how the Raptors will deal with yet another speedy point guard in D.J Augustin and he along with Raymon Felton have been being used on the floor together at times and it is something the Bobcats used very effectively against the Sixers. So much so that rumours of trades for Jason Richardson have surfaced over the last few days. After we find out check out the Raptor Rewind to look back on how it happened or if you saw it for yourself a bit of a review.

For more on tonight's game here is a link to Holly Mackenzie with her notes from down at the ACC.

Court Surfing- Game Day Notes

Coming Attractions....Lebron James

I just wanted to chime in on the Lebron James show last night in NYC. I give Lebron a ton of credit he does create an energy for things like this game. He also more times than not lives up to the moment. The Cavs crushed the Knicks and by the end of it Knick fans were almost like Cav fans as they made their voices heard that Lebron James is more than welcome to come to New York in 2010. James even debuted shows for this game which were called "Big Apple" or something along that line. I am not one of these folks that cares about shoes. It is the guys in them that concern me. But James is always as savvy from a marketing perspective as he is on the floor as a player. So every trip to N.Y.C till 2010 for James will be an event and that is why he will continue to feed the speculation to where he may go in 2010. In him saying nothing about it that speaks volumes. Cleveland fans would love to hear him but an end to all of this and say he is not going to leave. But that would make no sense to do that for Lebron James and ultimately that is who is his first concern.

Tomorrow is our Anniversary

It will mark one year tomorrow that the Dino Nation Blog first got started on Facebook. It was come a heck of a long way in that time and it has been a great year. I am going to talk about all of that and announce the details for a contest we are having to celebrate the anniversary of this blog being started. So if you are new to the blog you can learn a bit on what has gone on before you found us. If you are not you can enjoy my reflecting back on what has been a truly great year for me. I have got to know so many great folks from the guest to the readers and it has been a great thrill for me. So I encourage everyone to check in tomorrow for that. But we have a game to talk about before that. So check back later tonight for Raptor Rewind of Bobcats and Raptors.


  1. Hey, love the Raptors Blog, great job. Living in Vegas I don't get many games..but when I do I love watching them play. I'm from Canada of course...

    Hey check out my latest blog about the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver www.vanvibes.com

    Go Raptors!

  2. Thanks man. If I ever have the money and can go to vegas at least I will know one person that is always good to know. Glad you enjoy the blog and nice to see you have some passion for the Olympics. Dino Nation Blog is proudly Canadian.